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Stock Downgrades: Throwing the Book at Barnes & Noble


Wall Street ratings agencies set the tone for today's stock market.

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL CBS Corp. (CBS), a.k.a., "the Tiffany network", reached an historic best and wedding ring king Tiffany (TIF) itself, up 1.49%, didn't do too badly either. Yet Yannis Anastassakis, who wanted her daughter Jennifer to marry a "good Greek man," will be disappointed she has instead just said yes to Justin Theroux, a native of our nation's capital.

Facebook's (FB) billionaire founder was famously cheap with his wife's bling but, with Zuck's stock having just fallen a further 5.65%, that may have been wise. At least the company's acquisition of Instagram moved a significant step forward, enabling it to enter the increasingly lucrative arena of spoiled children swapping photos. And the credit card delinquency rate flirted with the lowest level since 1994. No wonder, with a 99-year-old just denied a card for being too…young.

Today's quarterly earnings announcements are expected to include Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF), Cisco Systems (CSCO), Deere (DE), Hot Topic (HOTT), Limited Brands (LTD), PetSmart (PETM), Staples (SPLS), Target (TGT), and Unwired Planet (UPIP).

Agnico-Eagle Mines (AEM): The commodity company gets cut to Neutral from Buy at UBS amid valuation concerns. Its new price objective is $46.50.

American Capital Agency (AGNC): Macquarie moves the stock to Neutral from Outperform.

American Midstream Partners (AMID): AMID is now Neutral from Buy at Citigroup.

Barnes & Noble (BKS): Shares are downgraded to Hold from Buy at Stifel Nicolaus amid concerns in its e-books and College categories.

Cache (CACH): The company is now Neutral from Overweight at Piper Jaffray.

Celanese (CE): Dahlman Rose downgrades CE to Hold from Buy.

CRH Plc (CRH): Shares in the Irish building material outfit are lower before today's opening bell on downgrades by both Société Générale (Hold from Buy) and BNP Paribas (Underperform from Neutral.)

Firearms firms: Smith & Wesson (SWHC) is downgraded to Hold from Buy at KeyBanc, which takes rival Sturm Ruger (RGR) to Underweight from Hold with a $40 target.

Integrys Energy (TEG): TEG is taken to Hold from Buy at Argus.

Lone Pine Resources (LPR): The stock is lowered to Perform from Outperform at Raymond James.

McDonald's (MCD): The Dow (^DJI) member is removed from US Focus List at Credit Suisse.

OCZ Technology (OCZ): Shares are now Neutral from Buy at Sterne Agee.

QR Energy LP (QRE): The stock is moved to Market Perform from Outperform with Wells Fargo.

Utilities: Bank of America-Merrill Lynch takes Entergy (ETR) to Underperform from Neutral and cuts Westar Energy (WR) to Neutral from Buy.

Vodafone (VOD): Shares in the telecom titan are trading lower in London this morning on the back of a Neutral-from-Buy rating reduction at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: Standard Chartered Out of Sin Bin? and New Stock Coverage: Joy Global Is All Smiles.)
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